Wednesday, July 18, 2007

OH!!!!! CANA--HUH?!?!?!

Just when it looked like Tuan Lam was going to double up for the second time off chip leader, Jerry Yang, the unthinkable happened.

Tuan pushed all in (22.2 million all day) and was called rather quickly (Yang had been very deliberate with his actions all day a la Chris Ferguson) after a pre-flop raise from Yang. The players turn 'em over and Yang's 88 is in a neck and neck race with Lam's AdQd. The flop comes 5-Q-9 and Lam takes control of the hand and the 44.4 million chip pot that was seconds away from bringing him to within a 2 to 1 chip deficit. Lam thinks things are wrapped up and has wrapped himself in the Canadian flag and began celebrating with his railbirds, which didn't really go over well with many of those in attendance (it prompted a smattering of USA! USA! chants that would continue throughout the hand). The turn, as always, makes things a little more interesting as the 7 gives Yang four extra outs in the form of a gutshot straight. Jerry Yang completes his straight with a miracle 6 on the river to take down the pot and the 2007 WSOP Main Event Championship Bracelet.

Before the bracelet presentation, Yang has the traditional interview with Norman Chad where he gives us some background as to who he is and how he got to where he is today. He talked about Communists invading his native country of Laos and how his family, after being threatened with death by the regime, successfully escaped the country on their second attempt. This was a truly moving moment. After being asked if coming to America was still the best day of his life, Yang, humbly agrees but that today ranks pretty high as he is now sitting between Norman Chad and $8.25 million dollars. Yang has pledged 10% of his to three charitable organizations including The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Feed the Children in Oklahoma City, and the Ronald McDonald House. I felt bad for him as I felt Norman Chad took a bit of an unwarranted jab at him when he asked, "Do you believe that the Lord has watched more poker today than any other day?" For those, who did not watch, Yang was literally praying during every hand where he was involved in an all in situation while kissing a picture of his six children. Upon winning, he credited God with his win countless times in one of the most memorable bracelet presentations ever. Phil Gordon later commented that he has never seen a more humble champion and that there were even a couple moments during Yang's interview where he found himself tearing up.

Congratulations, Jerry Yang, on capturing the 2007 WSOP Main Event Championship!


Shelly said...

Great job with the play-by-play! :)

**JZ** said...

Thanks! I can't wait to get home and get some sleep! HA!